Beuronese Murals - The Visitation

The Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth

After the Annunciation, Mary went with haste to a Judaean town in the hill country, where she visited her pregnant cousin, Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child in her womb, John the Baptist, leapt with joy. The story is told in Luke (1:39-42). The basilica mural of "The Visitation" shows Mary greeting her cousin just outside the house of Elizabeth and Zachary.

Elizabeth said, "How is it that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" Her kneeling position is a sign of her humility before the Lord and his mother. The two pregnant women, framed by the palm tree, are flanked on one side by a hatted Joseph, with his walking stick and donkey (all of which will appear in the panel of "The Flight into Egypt"), and Zachary, depicted as an aged person (as Elizabeth and Zachary invariably were). Mary's response to Elizabeth's question is the text of the Magnificat, the canticle sung daily at Evening Prayer (Luke 1:46-55).

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